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  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Business Statement and Announcement
  3. Statement by the First Minister: The Legislative Programme
  4. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure: Circuit of Wales
  5. Debate: Public Sector Decarbonisation
  6. Debate: Stage 4 of the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill
  7. Urgent Debate: The UK Government-DUP ‘Confidence and Supply’ Agreement

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK


That's it for today.

Senedd Live will be back tomorrow morning when we'll be broadcasting the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee.


'Long-held grievance about funding for Wales'

Nick Servini

Political editor, Wales

Politically, this deal will be considered a gift for Carwyn Jones, and he has given it both barrels, particularly with his claim that it "kills the idea of fair funding". The long-held grievance about funding for Wales, compared with Scotland and Northern Ireland, appeared to have gone away after the financial deal put together by the Treasury last year. This language suggests that grievance will rocket back up the agenda for Labour and Plaid Cymru. The pressure on the Conservatives will be to persuade people of the merits of the city deals, as these have not only become levers for economic development, but also symbols of the UK Government's investment in Wales."

'Extended display of sour grapes'

UKIP's Neil Hamilton describes the first minister's standpoint as an "extended display of sour grapes".

He also asks "why Plaid Cymru has not entered into negotiations with the UK government to get a better deal for Wales?"

'Barnett formula has been bypassed completely'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says "the Barnett formula has been bypassed completely, at a cost of around £1.7billion to Wales".

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'On the phone to Downing Street'

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies tells the first minister, "I was on the phone to Downing Street yesterday while you were on the balcony talking to the BBC."

Downing Street

'Most destructive political agreement in living memory'

The deal will mean £1bn extra for Northern Ireland over the next two years - but may not trigger new funding for Wales.

Carwyn Jones says the deal "is the most destructive political agreement in living memory".

He adds it is "unfair, wrong and corrosive"

The Welsh Government previously demanded "fair funding" for Wales as a result of any deal to give the Conservatives a working majority following the general election.

Urgent Debate

The final item today is an Urgent Debate on the UK Government-DUP ‘Confidence and Supply’ Agreement.

Arlene Foster and Theresa May
Arlene Foster and Theresa May

Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill passes final stage

AMs pass the final text of the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill.

Landfill disposals tax estimated to raise £28m in 2017-18

AMs agreed the general principles of the Bill on 21 March and Stage 3 on 20 June.

The tax, along with stamp duty land tax, is being devolved in April 2018.

Like the landfill tax it replaces, the new levy will be paid by landfill site operators who will pass the costs on to waste operators through a gate fee.

Public finances watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the landfill disposals tax will raise £28m in 2017-18, with proceeds falling to £22m in 2020-21 as recycling rates increase.

Mark Drakeford

Stage 4 of the Bill

The next item in the Siambr today is a debate on Stage 4 of the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill.

This is the last of the four-stage process for the consideration of a Public Bill involving:

  • Stage 1 – consideration of the general principles of the Bill by a committee, and the agreement of those general principles by the Assembly;
  • Stage 2 – detailed consideration by a committee of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
  • Stage 3 – detailed consideration, by the Assembly, of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
  • Stage 4 – a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the Bill.

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'We are interested in environmental issues in UKIP'

"We are interested in environmental issues in UKIP, particularly air quality" says Gareth Bennett.

He says his party supports Plaid Cymru's call for the Welsh Government to include measures to reduce air pollution as part of its approach to decarbonising the public sector.

Gareth Bennett

'Reduce air pollution as part of approach to decarbonising'

Plaid Cymru calls upon the Welsh Government to:

  • establish a national not-for-dividend energy company at arms-length from Welsh Government tasked with increasing energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation in the public sector as part of its remit.
  • include measures to reduce air pollution as part of its approach to decarbonising the public sector.
  • provide support for the public sector to provide electric vehicle charging points on premises for employees and visitors.
  • provide support for public bodies to decarbonise transportation with the use of hydrogen and LPG vehicles and similar innovations.
Simon Thomas
Simon Thomas

'Slow progress' in setting a carbon budget

Conservative David Melding says the Welsh Government has made "slow progress" in its efforts to set a Carbon Budget for 2016-2020.

He says the Conservatives believe that "the provisions in the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 relating to sustainable development need to have more prominent influence over the Welsh Government's own budget setting".

David Melding

Accelerating decarbonisation in the public sector

AMs are now holding a debate on Public Sector Decarbonisation.

The Welsh Government propose that the assembly:

"1. Notes the Welsh Government's leadership in implementing actions to decarbonise the Welsh public sector, in line with its statutory commitments within the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.

2. Supports the Welsh Government's aim of accelerating decarbonisation in the public sector to provide further stimulus to the low carbon economy.

3. Supports the Welsh Government ambition that Wales' public sector is carbon neutral by 2030.

4. Notes the forthcoming call for evidence which will seek views on the approach to be taken to decarbonise the Public Sector."

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'Very late rabbit out of the hat'

"Serious questions need to be answered" says Lynne Neagle, Labour AM for Torfaen about the Circuit of Wales hitting a stumbling block so late in the day.

She describes plans to build a new automotive technology business park in Ebbw Vale as a "very late rabbit out of the hat".

Lynne Neagle

'Dead hand of government'

UKIP's Neil Hamilton says the decision illustrates the "dead hand of government".

He repeats the call made by Adam Price for the publication of the due diligence.

Mr Skates says he is seeking the agreement of the Heads of the Valleys Development Corporation to publish a summary of the due diligence.

'No showstoppers' to the Circuit

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price says Wales is now an "international laughing stock".

He says that a senior official said on June 14, in emails he's obtained, that there were "no showstoppers" to the Circuit.

So he demands to know when did the Welsh Government learn from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Treasury that £373m could be gouged from the Welsh Government's budget by the Circuit of Wales.

Mr Skates's answer doesn't contain a date for ONS and Treasury advice, but the government has said it arrived in the last couple of weeks.

Adam Price

'Incredibly disappointing'

Conservative Russell George says "it is incredibly disappointing that it has taken six years and in excess of £9m of public money for the cabinet secretary to reject this project, which could have been a significant investment in the south Wales valleys".

He adds there is "disconnect" between Mr Skates' statement and evidence given to the Public Accounts Committee by James Price yesterday, "who claimed that the £55m spent to date on the Circuit of Wales had represented good value for money, and provided a significant project that is ‘ready for delivery’ ".

Russell George

'Politics is about difficult decisions'

Mr Skates adds, "I do recognise that many people in Ebbw Vale and across south Wales will be very disappointed by the decision especially as the company has created some very high expectations about the number of jobs which will be created".

He says the government made "every effort to make this project work" and "politics is about difficult decisions".

Resources 'fully justified'

Ken Skates says the resources the Welsh Government has already committed on the project are "fully justified".

He says that due diligence by external experts employed by the Welsh Government has shown that due to the way the deal is structured, the current proposal would see the Welsh Government exposed to more than 50% of the risk, because the £210m underwriting element would carry a higher risk than other parts of the financing package.

Ken Skates

No taxpayer-funded guarantees

We now have a Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates on the Welsh Government's decision to turn down a plea by backers of the long-awaited Circuit of Wales development in Ebbw Vale for more than £200m in taxpayer-funded guarantees.

The £433m motor sport track and leisure project aimed to create up to 6,000 jobs in one of Wales' most deprived areas.

The Heads of the Valleys Development Company, the team behind the project, wanted half the cost to be underwritten by the Welsh Government.

Ministers said today an automotive business park would be built in the area instead.

Circuit of Wales
Circuit of Wales

'Room for Brexit-related legislation'

The first minister says "we will have to make room for Brexit-related legislation".

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Proposals to remove the defence of reasonable punishment

Labour's Julie Morgan welcomes the consultation on proposals to remove the defence of reasonable punishment over the course of the next 12 months.

The issue was part of an agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru to install Carwyn Jones as First Minister in May last year.

In March 2015, AMs voted against banning smacking of children by removing the defence of "reasonable punishment" from the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Bill.

Leighton Andrews, the then Public Services Minister, said the Welsh Government felt the bill was not the right place to address the issue.

Julie Morgan

'Tax on moderate drinkers'

UKIP leader Neil Hamilton says plans to introduce a new law setting a minimum price for alcohol in Wales would be "ineffective and not address the problem".

He says it would instead be "a tax on moderate drinkers".

Regarding statistics about binge drinkers, he says he regards three pints a day as "a pretty boring binge".

guidelines on alcohol

Feeling of 'deja vu' in reading the legislative programme

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says she has a feeling of "deja vu" in reading the legislative programme.

She claims that if Labour had supported Plaid Cymru amendments in the past, much of its legislative programme would have been achieved years ago.

She says four out of the five new bills are Plaid Cymru policies previously rejected by Labour.

She accuses the government of now playing catch-up.

Legislative programme 'lacking in ambition'

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies says the programme "has the feeling of groundhog day" and is "lacking in ambition".

He points to "serious financial errors" in the Welsh Government’s Additional Learning Needs Bill which has slowed down its passage through the Assembly.

He supports the banning of letting agent fees, but says that on this issue Wales is playing catch-up with the rest of Britain.

He says that "after nearly two decades of over-promising and under-delivering, I regret that the Welsh Government’s legislative programme lacks the ambition and innovative thinking needed"'.

Scrapping letting agents' fees

Other proposals in the Welsh Government's legislative programme include scrapping letting agents' fees, which have already been banned in Scotland, while the UK government has consulted on doing the same in England.

Over the next 12 months, the Welsh Government will also legislate to introduce its offer of 30 hours of free childcare for 48 weeks of the year for working parents of three to four-year-olds.

Six councils will test the childcare scheme from September 2017 before a wider roll-out at a later date.

Ministers also intend to put local government reform on the statute book and consult on introducing a ban on smacking children next year.

Key in house door
A ban on agents' fees for tenants is among the proposals

Cost of alcohol could be determined by strength and volume

Plans to introduce a new law setting a minimum price for alcohol in Wales could be revived by the Welsh Government.

Under the plans, the cost of alcohol would be determined by a formula based on its strength and volume.

The proposal depends on the result of a Supreme Court challenge against similar plans by the Scottish Government.

Plans to regulate the price of alcohol in Wales were first introduced in July 2015 but were put on hold because of the assembly election in 2016 and a decision by judges in Scotland to refer the government in Edinburgh's alcohol cost plans to the Supreme Court.

The drinks industry is against a minimum price for alcohol
Getty Images
The drinks industry is against a minimum price for alcohol

Five laws for the year ahead

The next item in the Siambr is a statement by the First Minister on the legislative programme.

Five laws are included in Welsh ministers' legislative programme for the year ahead.

The Welsh Government proposes the following assembly bills for the next 12 months:

  • Regulatory Reform of Registered Social Landlords Bill
  • Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) Bill
  • Childcare Offer Application Processing Bill
  • Fees Charged to Tenants in the Private Rented Sector Bill
  • Local Government Bill.
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Business Statement and Announcement

Now we have the Business Statement and Announcement where the Leader of the House, Jane Hutt outlines the future business of the Assembly.

An urgent debate will take place later this afternoon on the Tory-DUP deal.

Jane Hutt

Difficult to recruit paid carers

Conservative Angela Burns says it is difficult to recruit paid carers in the Hywel Dda board area.

'Refusing to face reality'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood accuses the first minister of "refusing to face reality" on teacher recruitment which she says is in a "perfect storm".

The number of trainee teachers has dropped every single year since 2011, she says.

The first minister says pay and conditions need to be devolved in order to get the right package for teachers.

Leanne Wood

Risk of schools not being built

The first minister says the accounting rules mean they would have to find £157m for the Circuit of Wales in this financial year.

He says there would be a risk of schools not being built, hospitals not being modernised if the Circuit of Wales had been given the go ahead.

Carwyn Jones

'Pathetic lack of vision'

UKIP leader Neil Hamilton suggests the decision on the Circuit of Wales is a "bean-counters convention".

He criticizes a "pathetic lack of vision" by the Welsh Government.

Neil Hamilton

'Cowardice' by naming civil servant

The first minister accuses Mr Davies of "cowardice" by naming Deputy Permanent Secretary James Price in the Siambr when he cannot respond for himself.

Andrew RT Davies

Circuit of Wales statements at odds with each other?

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies says statements from Ken Skates and a senior civil servant on the Circuit of Wales are at odds with each other.

The first minister says that the financial situation was "not right for us to support this scheme for the Circuit".

Circuit of Wales
Circuit of Wales

The first Darren in the Senedd

Yesterday we heard from the new MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, who claims to be the first Darren ever elected to the Commons.

The first Darren in the Senedd, Darren Millar, raises the issue of congestion on the A55 coridor.

Darren Millar

'Sterling work' of rural crime team

Janet Finch-Saunders sets out the scale of the problem of rural crime and commends the "sterling work" of North Wales Police' rural crime team.

Janet Finch-Saunders

Tackling rural crime

The first question tabled for today is by Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): Will the First Minister make a statement on tackling rural crime?

Welcome to Senedd Live

Plenary begins with Questions to the First Minister, Carwyn Jones.